Since March 2020, the increase in business’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities due to cyber scams has increased exponentially, with an uptick in phishing scams being a major risk to companies and their now-remote employees. Cyber criminals are looking to exploit people’s fears around recent global events, and while some phishing scams can be easy to identify, many are sophisticated enough that even a cyber-savvy business owner may fall prey to thinking it’s a legitimate email concerning their business.
Before we jump into how to spot a phishing email, a quick refresh on what Phishing emails are. A phishing email is a form of cyber scam in which a scammer sends an email to a user that is designed to look like a reputable organization that is requesting you to turn over personal information. Some are easy to identify, but many are not.
Here are 8 signs that an email is fraudulent:
- Something just doesn’t feel right or an offer seems to good to be true
- Poorly written, highly unprofessional, or doesn’t make sense
- Addressed vaguely such as “Dear Valued Customer” or no greeting at all
- You’re asked to surrender personal information (credit card, bank, or password info)
- Sender address looks strange or doesn’t match contents of the email
- Subject uses urgent or threatening language
- You are being offered a lot of money for no reason
- A request is being made that was not initiated by any action you’ve take
The consequences of clicking on and responding to phishing scams can be devastating for small business, especially during an already challenging time. Making sure you’re educating and training your employees is a simple yet effective way to mitigate the risk that any one of your employees may expose your business to a cyber hacker in this way.